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It’s The Right Thing To Do

Yes, I still like being married, and more importantly, I still love my husband. Just in case you haven’t decided to vote against Proposition 8 yet, here’s another plea to do the right thing for us and thousands of other Californians.

Supposedly there are more in the series. Browse the links and collect them all. [via]

Chuck posted this on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at  6:18 am.   Make the second comment. 

Not Even News Anymore

I don’t know if this reflects a change in attitude toward the issue, or just a reflection of how many REALLY BIG news stories are out there today, but half-an-hour after the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, there’s still no major headline at the nytimes, sfgate, or cnn websites. MSNBC does have it as Breaking News though. Regardless, there’s now marriage equality in three states comprising 46 million people and 74 electoral votes. I wonder which candidate will step in it first.

Chuck posted this on Friday, October 10, 2008 at  9:03 am.   Make the second comment. 

More Complete Perhaps

In a meeting with another lawyer this afternoon my recent marriage and this weekend’s reception came up. He countered with the story of some friends of his and his wife who were just married after what they’re calling a “43-year engagement.” The way he tells it, the couple wasn’t sure they’d use their newfound rights just because they didn’t think it would change anything. After all, how could a label change a 43-year relationship? They did though, and then described waking up the morning after just feeling different. More complete perhaps. I’m not really sure to to describe it either, but it’s there. Even outside the legal rights and responsibilities, there’s just something about the effect of the word – it really does matter.

Chuck posted this on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at  4:44 pm.   Comments Off on More Complete Perhaps 

Equipment Check

At least there’s no smog check.

[via PolitickerCA]

Chuck posted this on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at  8:01 am.   Make the second comment. 

Literary Irony

Holding the Vice Presidential debate during Banned Book Week is simply priceless. The timing opens up so many possibilities for the candidates to distinguish themselves on their attitudes toward literary freedom, the role of libraries in a modern society and their respective reading tastes and levels.

There’s a list of some Southern California events at the L.A. Times.

Chuck posted this on Saturday, September 27, 2008 at  10:02 pm.   Make the second comment. 

Getting Inside The Numbers

There’s a good article in the Union-Tribune on the new Field Poll released today on Proposition 8’s chances in November.  While the big numbers (55% opposed) are encouraging, the article has a rare but informative breakdown on the demographics of the two sides.

When the Field Poll is broken down into 18 political and demographic subgroups, majority support for Proposition 8 is evident in only four: voters who call themselves conservatives (72 percent), Republicans (66 percent), evangelical Christians (60 percent) and Protestants (52 percent).

Majority opposition appears among almost all the rest: self-described liberals (91 percent), Democrats (75 percent), people with no religious preference or a religious preference other than Protestant or Catholic (71 percent), people who have done some post-graduate work (68 percent), voters who consider themselves middle-of-the-road (58 percent), residents of coastal counties (57 percent), voters unaffiliated with either major political party (56 percent), Catholics (55 percent), women (55 percent) and men (54 percent).

There’s also a good discussion in the article on how responses varied depending on how the initiative was characterized.  Apparantly voters are less inclined to take away a right then to block a new one from coming into existence.  

Chuck posted this on Thursday, September 18, 2008 at  12:22 pm.   Comments Off on Getting Inside The Numbers 

Waterboarding The English Language

“He was obviously having some sort of emotional distress,” he said. “It was unfortunate we had to use the Taser. … It was the only way we could subdue him without having to hurt him.”

So, exactly how do you Taser someone without “hurting” them?  Sad to see such a pretty language being tortured like that.

And I don’t even have to get into the appropriateness and necessity of subduing a naked man walking his dog on Allah’s command just because he got belligerent.

Chuck posted this on Monday, September 15, 2008 at  7:24 pm.   Comments Off on Waterboarding The English Language 

Free Press? What Free Press?

I can understand China wanting to censor foreign media coverage of the upcoming Olympic Games.  The country is a dictatorship afterall, and that’s what dictatorships do.  I can’t understand, or accept, that the IOC finds this acceptable, and reportedly even agreed to it.  It just smacks of the corruption that has rightly tarnished the IOC in the past, and in an era when every amateur athlete is under incredibly invasive scrutiny into their training methods, finances and lifestyles, indicates a blatant hypocracy on the part of the IOC management. 

Chuck posted this on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at  12:29 pm.   Make the second comment. 

Offended? Yep.

“It’s a First Amendment freedom of speech issue,” [Doug] Manchester said. “I certainly didn’t want to offend anybody.”

You gave $150,000 to an incredibly divisive ballot measure, yet didn’t want to offend anyone?  Well, what exactly did you want your gift to accomplish, besides end my marriage while somehow not offending me?  Moron.  And no, it’s not even a First Amendment issue.

On a brighter note, thank you.  Thank you very much.

Chuck posted this on Monday, July 28, 2008 at  7:58 am.   Comments Off on Offended? Yep. 

Law And Independent Scrutiny

The Los Angeles Times has an interesting article on DNA evidence as it’s presented in court. Not OJ’s bloody glove stuff, but an look at the analysis and statistics that creates the astronomical odds that are so overwhelmingly powerful to a jury. It’s a very interesting article.

From what I see there, my inclination is to agree with the government scientists that as the number of samples in the database expands, the number of coincidental near-matches will necessarily expand too. Even though that seems obvious, what scares me is how well the article documents the government’s resistance to have this theory independently verified. Outside research is bad, and any research that might make obtaining convictions more difficult must be illegal.

Which gets us to the charming passage near the end of the article:

After the defense filed a contempt-of-court motion, Michelle Groves, the [Maryland] state’s DNA administrator, argued in court and in an affidavit that, based on conversations with Callaghan at the FBI, she believed the request was burdensome and possibly illegal.

According to Groves, Callaghan had told her that complying with the court order could lead Maryland to be disconnected from CODIS — a result Groves’ lawyer said would be “catastrophic.”

Groves’ affidavit was edited by FBI officials and the technology contractor that designed CODIS, court records show. Before submitting the affidavit, Groves wrote the group an e-mail saying, “Let’s see if this will work,” court records show.

It didn’t. After the judge, Steven Platt, rejected her arguments, Groves returned to court, saying the search was too risky. FBI officials had now warned her that it could corrupt the entire state database, something they would not help fix, she told the court.

Platt reaffirmed his earlier order, decrying Callaghan’s “unilateral” decision to block the search.

“The court will not accept the notion that the extent of a person’s due process rights hinges solely on whether some employee of the FBI chooses to authorize the use of the [database] software,” Platt wrote.

I like judges.  I like the system when it encourages and allows a third party like a judge or a jury to see and hear all the facts of a case and reach an impartial decision.  I really hope we can get back to that type of system at the federal level sometime soon.

Chuck posted this on Saturday, July 19, 2008 at  6:06 pm.   Comments Off on Law And Independent Scrutiny 

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